| FSIS Participates In CBP Webinar
FSIS will participate in a Customs and Border Protection ( CBP) webinar on upcoming pilots of the PGA Message Set on Wednesday, March 20 from 2 pm to 4 pm ET. For more information on how to participate in the webinar, go to http://apps.cbp.gov/csms/csms.asp?srch_argv=13-000133&srchtype=all&opt=1 and click on CSMS#13-000133.
The PGA Message Set is the harmonized set of data that will be collected electronically from the trade community by CBP, through ACE, on behalf of the participating government agencies or PGAs. The initiation of the upcoming pilots is a significant step toward delivery of the Single Window.
The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will discuss the specifics of their pilot using the PGA Message Set for products covered by the Import Inspection Application, FSIS Form 9540-1. The draft Data Samples and Guidelines for Using the PGA Message Set for Electronic Completion of the Import Inspection Application (FSIS Form 9540-1) can be accessed on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/
Learn About Paperless Label Submissions
FSIS is offering a webinar on the Labeling Submission and Approval System (LSAS)—a Web-based application for accepting label submissions that launched last May.
The discussion will focus on the steps establishments can take to register and submit label applications. LSAS allows industry to electronically submit the required information to obtain label approval. It also makes it possible to flag application submission errors that could delay the approval process and allows users to track the progress of their submission.
This session is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on March 20. To access the webinar, go to https://connect16.uc.att.com/usda/meet/?ExEventID=85277207 and follow the on-screen instructions.
Materials from a previous session are available on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/
LSAS_Industry_Webinar_012313.pdf . For questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at (301) 504-0878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following areas:
Complete information can be found at www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
Public Comment Period Extended for E. coli (STEC) Survey
The original deadline to submit comments on the draft STEC Survey questions was March 10. FSIS announced through a Constituent Update Special Alert earlier this week that it has extended the opportunity for comment in response to a request from three industry groups. The new deadline to receive comments is March 25. The industry associations stated that the additional time was needed to provide meaningful feedback on the survey questions.
FSIS is particularly interested in receiving feedback concerning the clarity of the questions. Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal online at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FSIS-2013-0010 to view the survey and provide comment.
FSIS Begins Industry Implementation of PHIS
Last month, FSIS began rolling out the industry functionality of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) to FSIS-inspected domestic establishments and official import inspection establishments. A full implementation schedule for each district is listed below.
This part of the system gives industry the ability to respond and view noncompliance records and file appeals.* It also gives industry the ability to view, export to a PDF, and print reports of sampling results, noncompliance records (NR), and the establishment profile.
Participation in PHIS is voluntary. Implementation for industry will be conducted in phases through a web registration process. Establishments will receive a letter with the implementation schedule, as well as instructions on the web registration process. This information is also available at www.fsis.usda.gov/PHIS/index.asp.
Start dates are designated for establishments associated with each FSIS district and regional import field office. Establishments will not be able to access the system before the scheduled start dates.
PHIS users with questions or issues may contact the FSIS Service Desk at 1-800-473-9135. As a reminder, if an establishment elects to use PHIS, a Level 2 USDA eAuthentication (eAuth) account must be obtained to enroll and access the system. Steps for obtaining an eAuth account have been published in the FSIS Constituent Update and are available on the FSIS website.
*NOTE: The appeals functionality is not available for industry use at this time, but will be in the near future.
Food Safety at Your Fingertips
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.
The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), is also available to consumers in English and Spanish and can be reached Monday through Friday from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.
FSIS Launches Small Plant News Survey
FSIS is conducting a survey through its Small Plant News, the newsletter written especially for small and very small federally inspected establishment owners and operators who produce meat, poultry and processed egg products.
The survey takes only a few minutes and will assist the agency in improving the quality of Small Plant News to better serve the needs of its stakeholders.
Individuals have until March 31 to complete the survey. To fill out the survey form, go to the Volume 6, No. 4 issue of Small Plant News at www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/
Small_Plant_News/index.asp . Click on the survey button on the first page of the newsletter.
Codex Public Meeting on Food Labeling
FSIS and the FDA are hosting a public meeting to receive comments and draft U.S. positions that are scheduled to be discussed at the 41st session of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) in Charlottetown, Canada. The public meeting is scheduled for April 17, from 1-3 p.m., at USDA's Jamie L. Whitten Bldg., Rm. 107-A, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250.
Agenda items include: implementation of the World Health Organization Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health; proposed draft revision of the guidelines on nutrition and health claims concerning non-addition of sodium salts; and guidelines for the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced foods.
Documents and agenda items related to the 41st session of the CCFL will be available at www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en. For more information about the public meeting, contact Doreen Chen-Moulec at (202) 205-7760 or email@example.com.
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